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If are trying to integrate share buttons on your WordPress website, then this post will introduce you some of the top social media plugins available today.
Anyone who have ever owned a smartphone and accessed internet know about social media networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. The number of people who actively use these networks is at an all-time high in 2019.
According to a study by HootSuite, around 45% percent of the world’s population use social media. So, you can imagine the penetration these networks have made in our modern society.
Why add social share buttons on your website?
People use social media not just to connect with their friends and family. They often use it to find ideas and to learn about new things. For example, Pinterest is probably the best place to look for fresh ideas shared in the form of images. No wonder it is described as a visual search engine.
If you are a blogger, writer, or marketer, you should definitely share your content to all the relevant social media. You can reach out to more number of potential readers who may later become your subscribers.
However, that is not enough. Apart from you sharing your own content, you should encourage your readers as well to share the content. That’s where share buttons come helpful. These little buttons encourage your readers to share to their favourite social medias. Without these buttons, they have to manually cop and paste the links, which they do not bother to do at all.
Which are the best Social Media Plugins?
Ready to add share icons to your WordPress blog? Then let us look at some of the plugins that helps to do this.
What to look for in a Social Media Plugin?
- Share icon choices
- Icon placement
- Share Counts
Performance is one of the challenges when adding social media buttons. So, I have chosen these six plugins based on performance, features, and my own personal liking.
1. Social Pug
Developed by DevPups, Social Pug is one of the best social sharing plugins today. The free version supports Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn while the paid version supports fourteen social networks including WhatsApp and Reddit along with Email sharing.
Clearly, the authors of the plugin have taken performance seriously by keeping the number of HTTP requests to a minimum.
The premium version gives a bunch of advanced features like custom Pinterest image and click-to-tweet boxes. Starting at $29 for one site, the pricing is also on the cheaper side.
FYI, this is the plugin I use currently on this site.
2. Social Snap
If you are looking for a solid and feature-rich premium sharing plugin, then Social Snap is the one to choose.
Social Snap allows you to choose from more than thirty networks. Quite a commendable job. In addition to all these features, the high-end paid versions give more features in the form of four add-ons:
- Social Login
- Content Locking
- Automatic posting to social media
- Boosting old posts
However, the free version – Social Snap Lite – is not much of use as it is severely cut down.
With clean arrangement of the settings and live preview, Social Snap’s dashboard is one of the best I have seen for a sharing plugin.
AddThis is another good social media plugin you can consider. With its own web-based interface and analytics, it is more than just a WordPress plugin. After signing up on AddThis, you can connect the plugin with your AddThis account.
In addition to share buttons, their dashboard shows advanced features like share analytics. If you are a marketer, you might find this useful.
However, connecting with an AddThis account is not compulsory. You can use it as a standalone plugin as well.
4. Shared Counts
Shared Counts is one of the lightest plugins in this list. It uses SVG to render the icons thereby avoiding the use of custom fonts. As a result, the plugin loads only two external files – a CSS and a JS – which weigh a mere 4KB together.
However, the functionality of the plugin is pretty limited. It does not even offer floating sidebar buttons.
If you are looking for a basic plugin to add buttons below or above the content, then Shared Count does just that.
AddToAny is a completely free plugin with all the important features. It comes with a floating share bar, share counts, inline buttons, and SVG icons that load fast.
Since it is completely free, the plugin does not have a paid plan. Even then, it supports more than 90 networks, more than any other plugins. AddToAny’s tagline – Universal Sharing – is not an exaggeration. Unlike AddThis, AddToAny does not have any sign-ups or accounts. You can start using the plugin right away.
When it comes to customization, AddToAny allows you to add custom CSS which can override the default settings. So, if you know a bit of CSS, basic customizations like color changes won’t be a problem.
In terms of performance, AddToAny is not the fastest even though the icons load fast. The plugin makes two external requests to AddThis servers.
If you take a look at Mashable, you can see that they present two big share buttons – each one for Facebook and Twitter – at the beginning of an article. That’s what MashShare also offers.
You can get access to more social networks by purchasing add-on packs. The floating sidebar is also available only as a paid add-on.
In terms of performance, MashShare came second on this list, just below Shared Counts.
In short, if you are looking for a free solution that gives the look and feel of Mashable, the MashShare is the best option. The paid add-on library is also impressive.
There is no doubt in the importance of adding share buttons to a blog. However, finding the right plugin is a challenge considering the number of choices available. So, I hope that this post has helped you in choosing a suitable social media plugin for your site.
I know that the list is not complete. So I will keep it updated as new or better plugins come along. Which plugin do you use to share on social media. If you couldn’t find it on the list, please mention it in the comments.